Turn Your Favorite Clutter Into Art

Most of us have it: our favorite clutter. The things we don’t ever use that fill up our closets, garages, basements, and attics not because we’re too lazy to throw them away, but because we’re just too attached to them. Getting rid of these things would feel like getting rid of a piece of ourselves.

For the things you just can’t bear to part with, here are some quick, creative ways to organize and cut down on clutter by making your history part of your home decor.

Item: Paper, Paper Everywhere

Paper items can be the worst offenders, because they’re often the most personal. Postcards, birthday cards, holiday cards, handwritten letters (something we can really be nostalgic about these days), old family recipes, maybe your own wedding invitations.

Solution: Display It

Your favorite letter from grandma in a simple frame will add some personalized literary flair to a bookshelf or reading nook. A line of individually framed postcards can make a bold visual statement in your entryway to remind you of people you love, places you’ve been, and places you’d like to go. And your own wedding invitation in a chic frame can add a little nostalgic romance to your bedroom.

Item: Clothes and Blankets

Have a favorite old t-shirt from a concert or place that just has too much sentimental value to toss? Or a blanket from when you were a kid, or when your kid was a baby?

Solution: Trim and Frame

There are people out there who can work the kind of magic it takes to turn these items into a quilt, but for the rest of us, there’s a solution waiting with just scissors and a frame, or canvas and a stapler. Just wrap the fabric around the canvas and staple the back edges. Framing fabric is a trendy way to add interest to a wall—why not display a piece you love for more than just how it looks?

Item: Knicknacks and Small Keepsakes

Shells or pebbles from your favorite beach vacation, souvenirs from your travels, small gifts from friends, or trinkets passed down from family. They’re the little things that don’t really have a function, but throwing them away doesn’t feel right.

Solution: Hide Them In Plain Sight

Natural souvenirs like shells can fill a clear vase, adding a little color and texture to a space. Trinkets and heirlooms can get new life in a shadowbox on your wall or shelf, or even mounted on a piece of fabric or linen inside a traditional frame. Or, if they’re not quite suitable for framing, put them in something you do like to look at. Anything from a shabby-chic jewelry box to a minimalist photo box, find (or create!) a container that fits the style of your room and fill it with your favorite little treasures.

So go on and take a walk down memory lane—you know, the one in your closet—and get creative. Give your favorite pieces of the past a new life, and add more of who you are to your home.

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